Yikes! This has been a tough week for sex, sexuality and gender. The Ghomeshi verdict. North Carolina’s washroom woes. Fortunately, I hope you have seen the groundswell of public reaction about these stories. People are getting angry, but they’re also reaching out to victims and survivors. We know we can do better ... and we will.

The Game Is Rigged

The three complainants in the Jian Ghomeshi trial must have felt they were walking in a country fair, with the Canadian justice system being the loud and slick carny who beckons them for a game of chance. Sure, sure, tell your story, tell us what happened...we’ll be sure justice prevails. Sure, sure, the game is fair, women who have been sexually assaulted and raped just need to speak the truth and share facts, and due justice will be served.

So they lined up and each took a ring and threw it. Of course, each ring bounced away. It must have been them, though. They must have incorrectly thrown the rings. Because the justice system says the rings are the right size and the prize will definitely fit ... but no conviction for you. Their rings were too small and the prize was too big.

It does not matter how women tell their stories of sexual abuse. The current justice system is not set up to receive and properly digest those stories. Victims are not treated with the compassion and understanding required to properly process these situations.

Since Ghomeshi got off, story after story is being shared of police negligence and legal buffoonery. The very verdict rendered by Justice Horkins demonstrated the mystifying methodology of how we treat survivors. Sure, someone charged must be innocent until proven guilty. However, in sexual assault cases, Horkins wants us to presume the guilt of the victims. Fuck that. #IBelieveSurvivors.

Advancing Asexuality

Challenging stigma around sex and sexuality is a very hard thing to do, particularly in the public eye. So here’s much credit and best wishes to Joe Parrish who is running for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives after openly acknowledging his asexuality. Being one of the least discussed orientations on the sexual spectrum, asexuality is sometimes a hard concept for people to comprehend and accept. Our world is so focused on sexual attraction that not wanting to explore it is utterly baffling for those who cannot think outside the neat sexuality box. Parrish has encountered some of this with his own family. To take his truth to a greater audience is a great step in helping more people understand asexuality. And remember, folks, he’s doing it in North Carolina,

Not on the Menu

I’ll admit it, the first time I was politely stopped mid-oral, I was a bit confused. This was in a long-term relationship where me eating her out was pretty standard fare. Yet, she asked me to stop. So I did and then, like reasonable adults, she told me it wasn’t doing it for her and we moved on. That's happened many times since too. It's a pretty boring story, right? Well, I think my tale is pretty uninteresting, but Charlotte Shane pulls the sheets back on "the cult of pussy eaters." She exposes the ridiculous way men are now treating performing oral. Good on ya for liking licking. Not so good on ya for expecting that all women will want and love it. Not so good on ya for not talking about it and listening to your partners. I rarely do this, but if the problem is your technique then you need to listen and learn and not base your "skillz" on your porn collection. Ultimately though, your partner's body is her own. Don’t presume to know what she likes, what she wants, or how she should react. No ribbons just for participating here.

On Your Knees to Pray?

Religion and sex have an intertwined and troubled relationship. With the Christian celebration of Easter having just passed, Zak Jane Keir’s exploration of the ways sex and religion both engage and repel each other is an important consideration. For many people, reconciling religious faith with sexual need and desire can be a daily struggle. Religion says do one thing, the body says do another. Women, as is usual in any male-centric institution, get the shortest stick of all. However, I love that Keir explores the way religious figures, control and trappings can be used in sex play. The Baby Jesus butt plug is cute, but how about Jackhammer Jesus, Buddha's Delight, or The Bible Thumper?

Wrap It Up?

There are so many good sex toys on the market today...but there are still so many toxic and porous ones. It would be great if high quality and body safe ruled the day, and maybe it will if people take special note of this amazing bit of research by Dangerous Lilly. I know I’ve heard the idea that if you really want to use a toxic or porous sex toy, just put a condom on it - and Lilly's helping debunk this idea.

I know I’ve used this advice because I’ve got some old favorites that have been trotted out for good times even though I know they aren’t the safest toys in the pleasure chest. Lilly has done some thoughtful work here by testing different types of condoms on different toys, and then noting the result. Very important stuff to consider the next time you reach for one of these toys.